DETROIT (CBS Detroit) As the Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau urges downtown business owners to “light up” the city for the World Series, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network is going beyond the call of duty.

They’re turning on a nine-story Olde English D at their headquarters building on Lafayette Avenue near I-375 in downtown Detroit. The lighting display is visible at dusk.

But it’s not just a tribute, it’s an energy efficient tribute.

The “D” has upgraded lighting fixtures from traditional incandescent bulbs to new LED technology. The new fixtures reduce energy consumption from 600 watts per fixture down to 25 watts per fixture. The “D” is composed of 39 total fixtures, all made in Michigan.

According to Michael Schneider, facilities manager for the Blues, the new LED lights also serve as a cost savings. “In the past, we had to stock each different color light bulb, and this year, we’ve installed a cost-effective way to show the nation we’re proud of the D,” Schneider said. “The new technology allows the LED lighting to change colors through a programmed remote control, saving time while reducing cost.”

The Blue Cross headquarters is known to downtown workers and helicopter pilots for its light displays. For more than 30 years, the building has had a huge holiday tree in green lights in November and December. The building also has displayed a red heart in February to support National Heart Month.

The classic Olde English D will remain into November, when it will be replaced with the all holiday tree display. The 2012 holiday tree will feature updated LED lights, with the ability to be programmed to flash and fade from each color, allowing the tree to actually twinkle.

Tigers fans traveling southbound on I-375 might have already seen another tribute to the team. A billboard along Jefferson Avenue at the foot of I-375 has featured an Olde English D and two words: We Believe. The billboard was installed Oct. 5 before the division playoffs.


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